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Old 06-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #1
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Installing natual stone veneer on concret basement walls


Hi all,

I have just purchased a wonderful vacation home that had been in foreclosure. The house is about 98% complete but is still in need of some work. I've acquired the original blueprints to the house which show everything about the house and what the final construction should look like.

I've done a lot of construction work, but one thing I have never done is natural stone veneer. With that said, the blueprints to the house call for stone veneer around the concrete basement walls.

The outside of the basement walls are covered with 2" tongue & groove rigid foam insulation. On top of the foam insulation there is house wrap. My questions are as follows:

1. How should I apply the metal mesh before I apply the veneer mortar? I assume that whichever fastener I use to affix the metal mesh, it would have to go through the rigid foam and into the basement concrete walls. Which fastener should I use? Is there a general rule as to how to space the fasteners?

2. Is there anything I should look for when choosing a veneer mortar?

3. Is there an issue installing the stone veneer stone all over the walls? I mean, is there an issue with starting to install the stone veneer right on the grass or should it is start "X" number of inches above the grass?

I should also mention that the basement concrete walls are exposed. The house sits on a slope so the concrete walls are about 2 feet high on the front of the house and about 8-9 feet high on the back.

Thanks in advance, any feedback, tips, links, etc is greatly appreciated!
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:45 AM   #2
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Installing natual stone veneer on concret basement walls


good for you ! question - what's holding up the stonework ? since you didn't mention brick ledge,,, you can secure the stone w/ties but that still doesn't answer the question of what's holding UP the stone
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:48 AM   #3
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Installing natual stone veneer on concret basement walls


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Originally Posted by itsreallyconc View Post
good for you ! question - what's holding up the stonework ? since you didn't mention brick ledge,,, you can secure the stone w/ties but that still doesn't answer the question of what's holding UP the stone
I am not sure I understand what you mean by "what's holding up the stonework" I would assume the mortar and physics is what holds the wall up, but then again, I could be wrong that's why I am seeking advice.

I would assume the process would be something like this:

1. Before the stone veneer is applied, a wire mesh is installed all around the exterior walls.

2.Once the wire mesh is properly applied a 1/2" thin coat of veneer mortar is applied all long the walls.

3.Once the mortar dries, the stone veneer is buttered (my preference) and attached to the wall in a staggered patter (like a brick wall).

4. Grout

Are you saying I have to build a brick/stone ledge on the ground all around the perimeter of the concrete walls? Then the veneer sits on top?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:11 AM   #4
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Installing natual stone veneer on concret basement walls


You may not want to hear this, but here is what I'd do, and have done in the past in your situation:

- Remove Tyvek and foam. See if you can save all/most of the foam.

- Buy a bunch of green treated 2x8,10,12's and rip them into 1.5" x 2" furring strips on a table saw. You'll want 2x4's or so for the one side of the corner so you can hang it past 2".

- Install furring strips with Tapcons, concrete anchors, Ramset, etc.... I would cut your insulation into 14.5" strips (table saw works well for this too, just be careful you keep the piece aligned with the fence or they'll want to "shoot" back at you) and use them as a spacer between each furring strip.

- Either tape all the joints of the foam, or use a better WRB than Tyvek. I'd personally use a thin rainscreen material like "MTI Sure Cavity" or the like. At a minimum, I'd use 15# tarpaper with Tyvek Drainwrap or Stuccowrap over it.

- Install galvanized diamond lath over WRB, anchored with plenty of 1/2" staples or roofing nails into your furring strips. If you get the lath secured relatively tight, you shouldn't need many anchors into the concrete wall beneath, between the fur strips. A few bulges will be inevitable though, and need a little extra attachment.

- Back plaster with Type S mortar, scratch with notched tile trowel or rough brush. Allow the scratch coat to dry overnight.

- Install the stone with the joints at the same time. Any NTV I've installed (it's been quite a bit over the last 10+ years) needs to be installed from the bottom up, with joints to support it. This stuff is much heavier than cultured stone, and the back is sawn smooth, so it doesn't have the "grab" that cultured does.

- Tool joints as they set up.



Not sure how big this house is, but just the stone alone is going to be a very time consuming project for even a pro..........
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:38 AM   #5
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Installing natual stone veneer on concret basement walls


interesting, jo - here's what we did in 1 house we owned when nagzilla wanted stone applied to the bsmt walls & there was no original brick-ledge,,, we thru-drill'd the conc wall & attached a heavy angle iron w/s/s nuts & bolts to support the stone's weight,,, that was 40yrs ago - stone's still there & still looks good,,, brickie used brick ties every 2',,, don't think block wire had been invented back then

i'm not real sure our op has any idea of the weight he's asking wire mesh to support ( over 3T ) which is a bunch of pounds as i recall i'd hate to hear an odd noise in the middle of the night then discover my very fine stonework now horizontal but maybe that's just me

just my $ .03
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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Installing natual stone veneer on concret basement walls


I could be wrong, but I "assumed" the OP was referring to natural thin veneer, which typically falls into the lightweight adhered veneer category, similar to cultured stone. NTV is just natural stone with the back sawed off of it, making it 3/4" to 1 1/2" generally. If it's full veneer (4-6" depth) , I agree that my method won't work............
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:53 AM   #7
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Installing natual stone veneer on concret basement walls


you ? wrong ? ? ? usually not the case but obviously 1 of us is right OR we're both wrong
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